Buttermilk cupcakes… oh what fun!! C’mon, who doesn’t love cupcakes!? Even those you like me- fitness nuts, who eat sprouts and barley. Or my father, who will pretend he doesn’t want one for ‘health’ reasons, and when he thinks no one is looking… feeding frenzy…
The point I am making is that EVERYONE loves cupcakes. And decorating them is half the fun. But recently, a lot of attention is being brought upon the little baked good. It’s remaking its name as a gourmet item. I pass Sprinkles cupcakes on South Santa Monica Blvd in Beverly Hills almost every day, and almost every day the line goes down the street. These are well off, respectable people, waiting in line for a cupcake. What does that tell you? Shows on Food Network about cupcakes, cupcakes decorating classes… It’s getting a lot of attention!
And why buttermilk? Let’s go back to the basics. Add as much natural flavor as possible, building those wonderful layers of flavors, creating balance… With a sweet batter, sweet topping, and sweet garnishes, you need a little balance in there. Buttermilk, without overpowering, will provide that. Just like lemon and vanilla add a wonderful contract in many other desserts, buttermilk’s naturally sour nature brings out flavor that would otherwise be buried in sweetness. In other words, it makes everything else taste better. Perfect contrast. Balance.
So give in, let temptation take over. It’s the holidays, and this is a great way to bake with the family, make something fun for friends or co-workers, or simply create something wonderful and satisfying.
Your new trick will be the buttermilk, I guarantee it. On a side note, this is by no means my recipe. This is not the free-for-all anything goes savory world I normally live in. I did not create this. I think this is the best way to make the item, and I do want to share it with you, along with my explanation because I think it’s important. This is an easy recipe that you can easily share with your loved ones and take pride in. It might not be healthy, but it will certainly make you feel good.
Buttermilk Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: Approx 20 minutes
Yield: 1 doz large cupcakes
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 large organic eggs, brought to room temp
2 egg yolks, also brought to room temp
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsalted organic butter, gently melted
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 stick unsalted organic butter, room temp
1/2 lb cream cheese, room temp
3 cups confectioners sugar, well sifted (to remove lumps)
4 oz semi-sweet or milk chocolate melted (microwave at a gentle setting is easiest)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Heat an oven to 350. Grease a muffin pan with pan spray and line with capcake paper. Sift together all the dry ingredients except the sugar. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitter with a whisk attachment, begin creaming the eggs, yolks and sugar together. Take your time, let the mix almost double in volume. Slowly add the melted butter and buttermilk. Turn the machine to low, and add the dry ingredients in stages (don’t dump everything in there at once). Gently mix until incorporated and smooth. The mix should be light and fluffy. Ladle the batter into the muffin pan evenly, and bake for about 20 minutes (toothpick test). Let cool slightly and remove from the muffin pan. Let cool on a wire rack for another 15-20 minutes.
In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, cream the butter and cream cheese together until light and creamy. Add the sugar slowly, chocolate and vanilla. Continue to mix until well incorporated.
Slather the frosting on the top of each cupcake in whatever manner you see fit. You can fill a piping bag with the frosting, insert the tip into the middle of the cupcake and stuff it too. Garnish with sprinkles, M&Ms, chocolate shavings, coconut shavings, or whatever you want. Or nothing at all. Either way, you will have delicious cupcakes!